Seagate Momentus XT (second generation review: Seagate Momentus XT (second generation

Performance
According to Seagate, the Momentus XT's adaptive memory takes time to show improvement in performance, and that was true in my testing.

When I first booted the computer with the new drive, it didn't seem much different from a regular hard drive. However, starting with the second time, the boot time reduced significantly. By the third boot, the drive's boot time was exactly the same as when the test computer used an SSD as its main drive.

This was similar to application launching time. In my testing, there were significant differences between the first and the subsequent launching times. Starcraft 2, which is a rather large game in terms of data, for example, took about 35 seconds to load the first time, down to just 20 seconds, the subsequent times. The wake-up time from sleep mode, however, didn't require any learning. From the very first boot, the computer would wake up almost instantly from standby mode, significantly faster than when the computer uses a hard drive as its main storage.

The process is reversed, too; if you don't use an application for a long time, the first time you run it again, it will take a longer time to start up.

Overall I was happy with how the new drive improved the computer's startup, wake-up, shutdown time, and application performance. Its copy speeds, however, weren't as impressive.

When used as the secondary drive, the new Momentus XT registered about 80MBps when I copied a large amount of data to it. This wasn't slow, but slower than some other high-speed hard drives. The high-end WD VelociRaptor hard drive, which spins at 10,000 rpm, for example, offers around 126MBps.

When used as the main drive of the computer, which is its main purpose, the Momentus XT's copy speed was reduced to just 34MBps. This reduction was expected since the drive had to do both writing and reading at the same time, and again, it was slower than the WD VelociRaptor.

Note that this is not a big deal since I used a huge amount of data, some 55GB, for the copy test which can't all fit on the drive's 8GB of flash memory. This means in copy tests, the new Momentus XT is supposed to perform just like any other 7200rpm laptop hard drive, which it did.

Overall, similar to the original Momentus XT but at a higher level, the second generation drive provides very good improvement to a computer's general performance. While it's not as fast as most SSDs, it offers the overall experience very similar to one, most of the time.

Boot and shutdown times (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Shutdown  
Boot Time  
WD VelociRapter 300GB
12.2 
56.2 
WD VelociRapter 600GB
7.9 
45.4 
OCZ Agility 3
6.7 
14.7 
OCZ Vertex 3
5.8 
14.1 
Crucial M4
6.8 
13.7 
Plextor PX-256M2S
6 
13.5 
SanDisk Ultra
7.2 
13.5 
Samsung 830 Series
6 
13.3 
Patriot Pyro
6 
12.5 

Data transfer scores (in MB/s)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
As secondary drive  
As OS drive  
Samsung 830 Series
261.63 
172.88 
Plextor PX-256M2S
261 
162.03 
OCZ Vertex 3
260.71 
150.01 
Crucial M4
235.51 
117.99 
OCZ Agility 3
207.75 
101.67 
Patriot Pyro
190.01 
76.44 
Sandisk Ultra
96.4 
65.6 
WD VelociRapter 600GB
126.33 
58.05 
Seagate Barracuda XT
115.71 
51.1 
WD VelociRapter 300GB
112.59 
47.12 

Service and support
As with the original Momentus XT, Seagate backs the Momentus XT (second generation) with a generous five-year warranty. This is the longest warranty you can expect from a storage device, and is also the most important support factor for a hard drive.

Conclusion
With larger storage space and excellent overall performance, the new Momentus XT makes a great replacement drive in any laptop or desktop computer for those who can't afford an SSD. The drive will offer an even better value when its street price gets lower.

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Seagate Momentus XT (second generation, 750GB)

Part Number: ST750LX003
Low Price: $100.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Form Factor 2.5" x 1/8H
  • Hard Drive Type internal hard drive
  • Interface Type Serial ATA-600
  • Capacity 750 GB
  • Spindle Speed 7200 rpm
  • Buffer Size 32 MB